The Gates of Tartarus

by DivineGlory

The Rest of Ponyville

Twilight ran from Sugarcube Corner, hoping that Pinkie would go back to the library and perhaps have a few more emergency items stashed around Ponyville. "That pony is impossible," she muttered to herself, trying to block out the screams of pain around her.

"Hands off mah apples!" Twilight moved into the town square and searched for the familiar orange pony. She found Applejack with her hind hooves up in the air, kicking at Tantalus. Now that it was brighter, she saw that Tantalus was a small white earth pony, with a large black stripe running from one ear to his tail. His cutie mark seemed disheveled, like the hair had started to be pulled out forcefully. The cutie mark was a knife and fork, which seemed fitting as he was the most gluttonous of all ponies. "Twilight! You gunna stand thar all day?"

"Oh sorry," Twilight said as she was pulled out of her trance. She looked around the town square for anything to use against the evil pony but was unable to find anything. "One second Applejack," she called as her brain moved quickly to find a spell that might help. "Of course!"

Twilight's horn glowed as she remembered the spell that she had used on the parasprites. Sure it didn't work to well then, but they weren't normal ponies. A beam of purple light flashed out of her horn and towards Tantalus, striking him right in the flank. Applejack kicked him twice in the jaw once he was stunned. "What'd you do?," Applejack asked her as they stared at the disoriented pony.

"Remember the parasprites," Twilight asked as she cautiously moved towards the pony, "well I used the same spell. I've never used it on a pony before. I wonder what'll happen." They both stood and watched as the small earth pony blinked a few times and looked down at the apples in front of him. Instead of eating them, he turned away and slinked very slowly forwards. Twilight's face beamed as she saw that her spell was working, until the small earth pony moved his neck towards his flank and bit off more hair, chewing it slowly.

"Uh, Twilight," Applejack started, looking at the sad hungry pony in front of her.

"Let's just..." Twilight started before turning around and motioning for the element of honesty to join her. "He's an evil entity that's been locked away for years. He's not just hungry. He's trying to make us pity him." Twilight kept trying to reassure herself, but she felt a few tears in her eyes just the same. Sometimes you had to sacrifice a few things for the greater good.

The duo walked solemnly towards the library, their ears not even perking up to the cries of help from the other ponies who were still in pain and anguish. Tantalus wasn't the only pony who had escaped Tartarus and came to Ponyville. Twilight looked over at her friend for a second before she heard a very womanly shriek. "Was that-"

"Rarity," Applejack finished before turning towards where the shriek came from. Twilight put her front hoof in front of Applejack.

"Go to the library," Twilight said, "tell the others what happened to Tantalus. I'll get Rarity." Applejack opened her muzzle to complained, but decided it was against her best interest and instead turned towards the library to regroup with the others. As Twilight stood alone on the street, she regretted the decision to have any of her other friends to leave. "You can do this Twilight."

"Hands off me you dirty ruffian," A white pony said as Twilight bounded around the corner. She saw her friend Rarity, standing there in her gala dress, fighting off Ixion who was only minutes ago strapped to a burning wheel. His orange hair was singed on the edges, and his cutie mark was impossible to tell. Ixion's mane was completely burnt off, and one of his ears was bubbling from a recent burn. "Oh Twilight," Rarity started as she swiped a hoof at her attacker, "how glad I am to see you. This awful looking pony just attacked me screaming about how pretty am I." She swiped at Ixion again before swirling her mane in a fashion that only Rarity could do. "Of course, everypony calls me pretty so I didn't fall for his charm."

Twilight rolled her eyes but tried to remember any spells she could use to stop Ixion. "His crime against the old gods was that he was too lustful, wanting to be with every mare in Equestria." Twilight didn't know any spells that would stop that, but she did know someone who would be able to stop it for at least a little while. With one quick look at Rarity, Twilight dashed off back towards the town.

"Twilight dear!" Rarity yelled at her ever disappearing flank. Twilight gritted her teeth as she ran, trying not to think of it as abandoning her friend. She would be back for her.

Twilight felt a sharp sting in her shoulder and heard a deep booming laugh to her right. She noticed a black as night pegasus who was standing with his arms filled with rocks. He smiled at her and Twilight noticed even his teeth were black. "'Ello little pony," his deep booming voice said as Twilight felt another rock smash into her face. Her eyes filled with tears quickly and they mixed with the blood as they streamed down her face.

"I'll come back for you," she mumbled as she forced back the tears before running off. Another rock smashed into her cutie mark and she heard the voice declare that he was right on target. She kept running, her throat bubbling as she tried to stop from crying. "I have a mission" she reminded herself as she leaned against the wall of somepony's house. Her hooves moved up towards her face, searching for the cut that had been made just above her eye. She ran her hoof along it, trying to frit her teeth against the pain.

"Help!" Twilight stared up and noticed a yellow pegasus flying as quick as her wings could take her. Twilight cried out to Fluttershy, using her horn as a small beacon of light. Fluttershy didn't seem to notice, but she did change direction a bit.

"Fluttershy!" Twilight screamed at her, starting to gallop right underneath her. "Fluttershy! I need your help!" Fluttershy looked down at the purple pony and brought both her wings in simultaneously. Her plummet to the ground was much less graceful than when she was flying, and that was saying something. Twilight's horn glew quickly and cushioned her fall a little.

"T-t-Twilight," Fluttershy started before running towards her and nuzzling her neck. "How glad I am to see you!"

Twilight nodded to her friend and looked around the rest of the town. She had saved Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and now Fluttershy. All she needed left was Rarity. She whispered her needs to Fluttershy and her yellow friend nodded before taking a step back.

"He's in the Everfree forest Twilight but I don't know why you want to go there." Fluttershy murmured before showing Twilight the call that would bring what she needed to her. Twilight thanked the element of kindness before instructing her to head off the library. As Fluttershy ascended into the air again, Twilight ran towards the outside of Ponyville.

"Hopefully, the Everfree forest will be safer than Ponyville," she told herself.
Author's Note: I tried something a bit different this chapter, wanting to add some more emotion/action to the story. Hopefully it's still pretty good.